Bully! Aces & 8s! Hardy! Stretcher Job! Next In Line! TNA World Heavyweight Championship!
Last week (April 11), Bully Ray and Jeff Hardy battled back and forth in a Full Metal Mayhem Match with the TNA World Heavyweight Championship hanging
high slightly out of reach above the ring. It was a wonderful -- if a little slow and awkward -- match that showed both men in their natural element. It was worthy of a pay-per-view (PPV) main event, and to see it on free television was a treat for all TNA fans.
All seventeen of them.
But the few that stuck around saw a fierce contest, one that had Hardy within inches of reclaiming the Heavyweight Championship.
Then Bully did his best Bunny Foo Foo impression and bopped "The Charismatic Enigma" on the head with a hammer to retain the title. Hardy was stretchered out of the arena, and Aces & 8s rushed into the ring for a celebration with their President. It was a scene that should make you hate the formerly masked gang.
Which is exactly how it should have played out.
Bully Ray may be picking up cheap wins, but he is still picking up wins. Even Aces & 8s has a whole has been dominant recently. Which is a far cry from how they started.
I'm not too sure their combined win percentage even crossed the Mendoza Line.
But things are different now! Bully Ray is sitting on his 36th straight day as champion, and looks to extend his reign far into the summer and fall. Aces & 8s are standing strong against the feeble TNA roster, taking advantage of their numbers and brute strength. The man Hulk Hogan claimed to be the face of TNA, Jeff Hardy, is now laid up in a hospital. Things are not looking good for the promotion.
Now is the chance for someone else to step up and battle back the invading force.
It becomes a simple question of who makes the most sense. Samoa Joe always seems to be on the outside looking in, but maybe the time is right for him to enter the championship picture. Or Magnus could be the one earning a big push. Perhaps it will be Kurt Angle going for one last run before his body finally craps out. There is always the possibility of Dirty Heels splitting up, with either Austin Aries or Bobby Roode getting another shot at the title. I've said it before, but the top of TNA's roster is very deep.
The only thing I don't want to see is Jeff Hardy getting shot after shot after shot after shot until we reach Bound For Glory (Oct. 13).
A point I constantly harp on is pro wrestling only works when matches have consequences. To have Hardy lose last week, only for him to come back and get another series with Bully, would completely negate what happened. A dirty win still counts as a win. It's fine to have more matches if you're in the middle of a feud. But there's got to be a blow off at some point. Otherwise there's no point in watching.
I trust TNA has learned its lesson, though, and will do the right thing by this angle. Or, it can be TNA and screw everything up. Both are possible.
Styles! Hulk! Aces & 8s! Bad Influence! Decisions! Decisions! Decisions!
The AJ Styles Saga continues to evolve before our very eyes, and it gets more and more interesting by the week.
Since his return on the March 14 episode of Impact, Styles shrouded himself in dark clothes and silence. It was unknown if he would side with TNA, the promotion that has betrayed him, or Aces & 8s, the group that views him as a pawn. On one hand it was a position of power for Styles. He could choose his team, and his fate.
On the other, Styles is still being seen as a tool by those in charge, being used to wage war and then discarded.
The history Styles has with TNA is what makes this angle so interesting. The man has been with the promotion since day one, yet fails to receive a single ounce of respect.
On top of all of that, Hulk Hogan has the nerve to demand an answer from Styles? Hulk, the same man whose ego has ruined countless angles and a few promotions -- he is going to tell Styles to take one for the team?
Screw that, man.
But now we have a third option! Bad Influence came down to the ring last week and asked Styles if he would like to join their new team. Christopher Daniels and Kazarian have a long and complicated past with Styles, flipping from best friends to worst enemies. The Claire Lynch Incident -- which, if you don't know what that is, feel lucky -- was the first domino that led to Styles walking away from the promotion for a few months. It was Daniels and Kaz who turned Styles into the stranger he is today.
It would be fitting for the three to join together and take TNA by storm.
Speaking of storms -- BOOM! That right there is a fine transition -- AJ Styles is set to face James Storm tonight. Will Styles get revenge from his loss to Storm at Turning Point (Nov. 11)? Maybe! Will we find out what Styles chooses to do next? Probably not.
Which, in my humblest of opinions, is a good thing.
Everything Else! Bullet Points!
- Kenny King will put his X Division Championship on the line against Zema Ion and Petey Williams in a Triple Threat Match. If that doesn't give you a little Canadian Destroyer in your pants, tonight TNA will debut the "Ref-Cam!" It's a camera! On a referee! TNA: Breaking New Ground!
- Mickie James takes on Miss Tessmacher. Two beautiful workers going at it? I'm cool with that.
Hopefully, this has prepared you for the night's festivities. Leave a comment below about what you are looking forward to, and please join the entire CSS Thursday night gang in the live blog TONIGHT!